Versatile, easy to install and simple to cut to size, railway sleepers are becoming an increasingly popular feature for garden decoration.
Available in a variety of styles and textures, these simple rectangles of sawn timber were originally designed for use on railway tracks (hence the name).
However, creative landscapers have been able to utilise railway sleepers for a wide variety of garden projects, providing a clean yet rustic aesthetic appeal in a range of applications.
Let’s explore 5 of the most effective uses for railway sleepers in your garden.
A beautiful alternative to traditional concrete steps, railway sleepers offer a more natural look whilst maintaining durability.
New oak railway sleepers are well suited for building sturdy garden steps, their dense and robust nature means that they do not require pretreatment before use as they are naturally resistant to weathering, rot and insect damage.
Deep steps built with railway sleepers can be enhanced further by filling them with stones or bark chippings, this not only increases visual appeal, it also limits the risk of your steps becoming slippery.
Filling railway sleeper garden steps is a simple process, apply your chosen stones, shale or bark chippings, ensure that all materials are tightly compacted into the steps and level with the top of the sleeper to provide a solid surface.
Raised Flower Beds
Add more growing areas to your garden with cost effective railway sleeper raised beds, perfect for getting the most out of your space.
If your garden is predominantly paved, utilising raised beds means that you can still grow stunning flowers, fruits or vegetables.
Raised beds also offer a greater range of options in terms of the soil or compost you wish to use, the height you want your beds to sit at and allow any area of the garden to become a flourishing growing area.
Softwood railway sleepers are perfect for constructing your raised flower beds, pressure treated to provide added protection from fungal decay or wood rot, softwood rail sleepers maintain their structural integrity even when exposed to the elements.
Edges and Borders
Create a beautiful rustic divide between lawns and flowered areas with railway sleeper edges.
Providing a simple yet effective way of bordering your space, railway sleepers can even be used to create a curb effect around a driveway, protecting your lawn and flowers.
Simply dig a shallow trench into the soil to lay your railway sleepers into, considering whether you want your railway sleepers to be flush with the ground or slightly raised.
Ensure that the ground is level before securing your railway sleepers with a wooden stake or metal spike to prevent it from moving or becoming loose over time.
When your sleeper is in place, make sure to fill any small gaps around the railway sleeper to improve the final appearance.
Benches or Tables
Add additional seating space to your garden that retains a natural rustic look.
Using railway sleepers to build garden furniture is relatively simple too and only requires –
- Circular or bandsaw
- Drill and screws
- Wood preservative
Simply cut your railway sleepers to your desired size, sand the edges and surfaces to remove any rough areas or splinters and lay your cut sleepers into the configuration of your bench or table.
You will then need to drill holes in the areas of the sleepers that will be joined and attach the railway sleepers using screws, you may also want to use metal brackets for added support.
Once your chosen structure has taken shape, sand the whole surface to ensure a smooth surface and apply a wood preserver to protect against weathering.
Bring a piece of the beach garden with a cost effective sandpit made from railway sleepers.
A quick and easy build that will supply endless hours of fun, the process is essentially the same as the one used to create our raised flower beds.
The difference is that this time, the sandpit will be at ground level, and rather than drilling holes for drainage, we will be creating a tightly sealed unit, lined with a plastic membrane to ensure sand is not able to leak out.
Once your sandpit structure is fasted together and sanded down, apply your desired wood stain or preserver and fill with sand, it really is that easy!
High Quality Railway Sleepers
At Grangewood Fencing, we stock a range of hardwood and softwood railway sleepers to suit all applications.
We even stock authentic reclaimed railway sleepers to provide a truly classic look.
For more information about our range of railway sleepers, contact us today!
Or for more inspiring ideas for your next garden project, visit our blog for handy tips.